We present a range of music and chanted mantras and prayers below, to nourish your listening mind, to use in your deity practice or to chant along with.
Tibetan Buddhist practices contain chanting of mantra and prayers, as well as dance and song. Music is used as an offering to the Buddhas, to help remember prayers and as a form of contemplation and meditation. Recently scientific research has found that the frequencies used in some chanting, promote calm and relaxation in the brain.
Namo Ratna sung by Ani Choying
Ani Choying Drolma is a Nepalese Buddhist nun and musician from the Nagi Gompa nunnery in Nepal. She is known in Nepal and throughout the world for bringing many Tibetan Buddhist chants to mainstream audiences. She says: ‘May this mantra have immeasurable benefit to all sentient beings. It is the very core of Avalokiteshvara’s compassionate mission. The immediate benefits, as taught in sutra and commentaries, are: purification of negative karmas, protection and healing.’ Find her on Facebook .
Green Tara mantra sung by Drukmo Gyal
Drukmo Gyal is a Tibetan born singer who travelled the world before COVID, doing concerts and also teaching Tibetan medicine therapies. Green Tara is a well-known Tibetan deity, whose help is requested during difficulties and who has pledged to come to the aid of struggling beings quickly. This recording below also features the musicians Marcus Viana, Ricardo Passos and João Viana.
Avalokiteshvara prayer by Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village choir
Thich Nhat Hanh, renowned meditation master, and the Plum Village community offer this beautiful musical prayer. In Plum Village, Avalokiteshvara’s name is invoked as a prayer, continuously repeated for twenty minutes, in order to awaken the energy of compassion in us all and transmit it to all living beings.
The practice: When the nuns and monks chant the name Avalokiteshvaraya, for the first time, they go back to themselves to touch the suffering inside of them. When they chant the name for the second time they become aware of the suffering of the people around them. When they chant it for the third time, they get in touch with the suffering of the whole world, embracing it tenderly with the energy of compassion.
Crane Song by Tenzin Choegyal
Tenzin Choegyl is renowned internationally for his nomadic Tibetan singing and activism for his homeland of Tibet. Over many years he has worked with western musicians as well as showcasing Tibetan music to the world. This recording is stunning visually, being filmed in Ladakh (also known as Little Tibet).
Heart Sutra transmission with Lama Zopa Rinpoche
In this 5 minute recording below, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives an oral transmission of the Heart Sutra, following introductory comments. The Heart Sutra is one of the most well-known and recited texts in Buddhism, containing the essence of the wisdom of emptiness teachings. This transmission was part of his visit to Tara Institute in 2000.
Meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum by His Holiness
The meaning of Tibetan Buddhism’s well-known Om Mani Padme Hum, the short form of the mantra of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), is explained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a short 5 minute video.
Palden Lhamo Protector prayers with Namgyal Monks
In this video below the monks of Namgyal Monastery use traditional musical instruments such as cymbals, long trumpets and drums to accompany these prayers to Paldon Lhamo. Palden Lhamo is believed by Tibetan Buddhist to be a wrathful protective goddess whose wisdom and compassion overcome every obstacle. She is the special protector of the Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan government, having been established in that role by the Second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso (1475–1542).
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s name mantra sung by Deepthy Shekhar
Deepthy Shekhar shared this beautiful recording below of her chanting this mantra for the use of all of Rinpoche’s students. This sublime musical offering can be played to calm one’s mind and to connect and make a mental offering to Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
OM AH GURU VAJRADHARA MUNI SHASANA KSHANTI SARWA SIDDHI HUM HUM
Morning Prayers chanted by Chinese Chan monks
This 50 minute video of traditional chanting below is by Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monks, and includes the Surangama mantra (from a Mahayana Buddhist sutra that has been especially influential in Chan Buddhism), the Great Compassion mantra, the Heart Sutra, Amituofo recitations, and others.
These young visually impaired musicians sing the Tara mantra so hauntingly and with great dedication in this 6 minute recording of their concert. Intensely moving,
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
Offering to Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
The short video below is a musical offering by the Doha music organisation to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) who said, ‘If you offer beautiful melodies to me, Padmamsambhava, the gathering of all Buddhas, I will be as near to you as your own heart.’
Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)
The seven line prayer below to Guru Rinpoche is regarded as powerful means of dispelling obstacles, including natural disasters and wars.
Seven Line Prayer to Padmasambhava
༄༅། །གུ་རུ་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་ཚིག་བདུན་གསོལ་འདེབས་བཞུགས་སོ། །
ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔ hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam Hūṃ!
In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,
པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔ pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,
ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔ yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,
པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔ pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus-born’,
འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔ khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.
ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔ khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,
བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔ jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!
གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔ guru pema siddhi hung
OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
Mantras and Prayers for Animals with Geshe Tenzin Zopa
The practices below were undertaken by students around the world, led by Geshe Tenzin Zopa, to pray for all those sentient beings, especially animals, suffering in floods, fires, volcanic eruptions and the COVID pandemic. These practices included the 21 Praises to Taras, Medicine Buddha, Tara and Chenrezig mantra recitations and a powerful light offering, as well as Refuge, the Four Immeasurables, and Dedications, with Geshela providing detailed visualisation instructions.
‘In Buddhist belief systems, sound is considered to be sacred. Moreover, sound as communicated through music and poetry is thought to have the ability to cleanse the emotional energies of the body. Finally, sound – by way of speech – is understood to be a doorway to the energetic dimensions (vibration, or prana).’
Annemaire Mal, Harvard Divinity Bulletin